Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Shoulder in! Renvers! Leg yield! Travers!

Our last session with Alfredo focused on getting Taran to be more mobile with his shoulders and haunches, and hotter off my leg. As Alfredo pointed out after I'd switched my whip for the 20975th time, Taran doesn't respect my leg unless I have a whip to back it up. That's all fine and good until you ride a test where you don't get to carry a whip, and then you're screwed (ahemGAIGchampionshipsahem).

We worked on the new, slower warmup, which seems to do good things for Taran:

Hellooooo, gorgeous stretchy trot. Where have you been all my life?


And then we transitioned to doing shoulder in to renvers on a circle. The difference is bending, which sounds easy, but it's challenging for me to rearrange all my body parts quickly so that Taran can make the transition from one to the other smoothly and without losing the trot. We've done this exercise with Alfredo before, but I admit that I don't practice it much at home. When I do, I'm not asking for the level of bend and obedience that he expects... because this kind of smooth, obedient movement is a whole new thing for us:



I really liked the feel that I could put Taran's body anywhere I wanted and I would get an immediate and BIG response - that goes with being more demanding of both myself and him. Plus, it's much harder to do shoulder in/haunches in on a circle than it is on a straight line (which is what's required in all the 2nd level tests), so if we can can do these movements well on a circle, we shouldn't have any problem when we have to do it down the rail. Plus it's easy to see in the video how a half pass could come out of these movements, if I just placed it slightly different, so that's exciting. Who knew Taran had so much crossover in those short little legs of his?

Finally, we did an exercise down the long side where we stared in shoulder in, switched bend to renders, then flipped to face the rail in leg yield, then changed bend to travers. Sound confusing? Try riding it! I messed it up the first few times, but eventually we kinda got it right:


Whew, I felt like I needed a translator! These movements (except SI) aren't really automatic in my head yet, so it takes me a moment to figure out what each one needs and then ask Taran for it.

We've definitely got our work cut out for us, but I got a lot out of the clinic. My biggest takeaway is that I really have to be more demanding of us both... Taran can do the movements, and do them big, and I need to push for that. We don't have fancy gaits to help us out with our scores, so it's important to ride every step for 110%. I'm excited with all that we accomplished in just a few short days, and am really looking forward to working on everything at home. After all, our first show of the year is just 2 months away!

18 comments:

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    1. It was! And tough... but that's great!

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  2. VERY cool videos! I love that you can really see the transition. Wow!

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    1. Yeah the movements are really very different and when you do them one right after the other it's easy to see how they differ. But tough to ride!

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  3. These alfredo clinics you are doing are really awesome

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  4. Taran looks really confident in the work, even though it's more demanding.

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    1. It's challenging but he always give 110%, which is kind of awesome! He's such a great little guy.

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  5. oooo!!! Def. trying that SI, Renvers, Leg Yield, Travers thingie! LOVE your lesson posts they give me such great ideas to torture Hamp with!

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    1. Taran says that he's really really sorry, Hampton. :(

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  6. that trot pic is awesome! gotta love a coach who can keep pushing you to find that higher and higher degree of correctness in the movements!

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    1. It's funny, now that we can do a stretchy trot reliably THEY TOOK IT OUT OF THE TESTS. It's not at 2nd level. Dammit.

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  7. I love how well T is moving away from your leg here. He's obviously paying more attention to your aids. The flow from one movement to the next is getting soooo smooth. :)

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    1. The parts are definitely coming together for sure!

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  8. That is some really cool video, totally jealous! And totally admitting that I stole it some to use on Mia. She did NOT appreciate your post :)

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  9. He looks like a lipizzan!

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